Brian Wasko, Homeschool Speaker

Brian Speaking

Four years into his career as a public high school English teacher, Brian Wasko was asked to teach a weekly, after-school writing class to homeschoolers in his Virginia Beach community. The approach and curriculum he developed over the next several years evolved into WriteAtHome.com, a popular and effective online program helping homeschoolers develop skill in writing. WriteAtHome has served thousands of young writers since it started in 2001.

In 2016, Brian launched Wasko Lit, offering real-time online literature courses focusing on the Great Books of Western civilization. Brian teaches these classes himself, relying on a curriculum he’s developed over twenty-plus years.

Brian and his family live in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


These anonymous quotes were part of an attendee evaluation during a recent homeschooling convention in Richmond, Virginia.


“He covered the topic concisely and with an entertaining style. Thank you!”

My favorite speaker of the entire weekend!”

“Humor while conveying ideas that are understandable.”

“Important information in an entertaining format.”

“Many things – this was one of the best workshops I’ve attended in 12 conventions

“Speaker was enthusiastic, engaging, funny, and competent.”

“He was very good at getting his point over and was very funny. He even got the audience involved.”

“Witty, informative, very helpful, even to an experienced writer.”

“Interactive, fun, educational. This guy rocks. The only thing he could have done to make it more interesting is to jump out of a cake.”

“Mr. Wasko is a great speaker, making topics that would be dull very fun to learn.”

“He gave errors AND the solutions clearly, using concrete examples. Helpful workshop every parent should hear. Please have him back!”

“Brian Wasko is witty and fun!!”

“Energetic speaker, humorous, timely.”

“It totally lived up to the title of the workshop (The Most Fascinating Discussion of Grammar in the History of the World)

“Get him again!!”

“Wonderful delivery and organization – thorough coverage of the topic delivered with humor!

“Very well done, humorous. Great presentation.”

“Great speaker, very engaging, knowledgeable”

“Great! Informative! Want more!”

“Awesome!!”

“Outstanding! Made me think outside the box. :)”

“LOVED this! Great intro! Wonderful personality. Excellent slides. Looks like you have a NEW FAN! I will be a reformed grammar Nazi. And now I want to work for you. No, seriously, I do. ”

“It was entertaining and thought-provoking.”

“Humorous. Substantive. Helpful.”

“He really enjoys his subject. Keeps your attention.”

“Hilarious and informative”

“Refreshing look at grammar and understanding of why ruled are or are not. And funny!”


workshop topics.jpg

Writing

Ten Mistakes Teen Writers Make and How to Avoid Them (the Mistakes, Not the Teens)

This workshop focuses on the most common errors young writers make. We dip our toes into some grammatical issues, but the workshop focuses on simple principles of good writing. We examine common problems like redundancy, telling instead of showing, and modifier dependence.

The WriteAtHome Approach: How to Effectively Coach Young Writers

Unlike most content-oriented subjects, writing is a craft that students develop over time through practice. A key element in this development is effective coaching. Just like a musician or an athlete, a novice writer needs a coach to instruct, inspire, and guide him. This is the key to WriteAtHome’s success. In this workshop, Brian will share some of the principles used by our writing coaches as they train students to become effective written communicators. 

Getting Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay

The emphasis on the five-paragraph essay format is so ingrained in our education that many have come to believe that it’s the one “right” way to compose an essay. What’s odd, however, is that great writers have been writing essays for centuries—brilliant, moving, eloquent essays that are a delight to read—and none of these essays are written in the five-paragraph mode. Why is this? The five-paragraph structure is a good starting place for young writers, but that’s all it is meant to be. This workshop will discuss ways to get students beyond the five-paragraph essay.


Literature

 How To Do Literary Analysis that Doesn’t Ruin the Book

 There’s nothing worse than dissecting and over-analyzing a book you might have otherwise enjoyed. (Okay, there’s probably several things worse, but it’s still bad, isn’t it? Literary people are so…literal.) This workshop will show you how to do literary analysis so that students end up loving literature more rather than less.


Grammar and Language

The Most Fascinating Discussion of Grammar in the History of the World (or Your Money Back!)

 There is perhaps no subject more intrinsically boring than grammar. Maybe that’s why students don’t get it, and we hate teaching it. In this workshop, you’ll learn that grammar ain’t isn’t so hard, and that it can actually (sometimes) be (sort of) fun (ish). Brian will answer the most common questions: why we should teach it, when we should teach it, and how we should teach it. Plus, you’ll get to take the World’s Trickiest Grammar Quiz. But wait! There’s more: Brian will reveal the secret that guarantees that your students will never make a grammar error in their writing again! How can you pass that up?

How to Love Grammar without Being a Grammar Snob

 People tend to fall into two categories. They are either indifferent to grammar or they are persnickety sticklers about it. This workshop is about finding a third and better way. Brian will reveal how to be a grammar expert and delight in the intricacies and peculiarities of English without being a snob. You’ll be smarter, happier, and frankly, people will like you more!


General Education

Why Schools Are the Worst Places to Learn Stuff

After a recent return to full-time teaching following a sixteen-year hiatus, I am convinced that schools, ironically, are lousy places to learn. We’ll talk about compulsory attendance, the grade game, the design of facilities, the emphasis on conformity and other historic concerns for an educational approach that we have somehow accepted as normal. Most importantly, we’ll talk about what this means for our homeschools and how to avoid some of the same mistakes.


Contact

Interested in having Brian speaking at your event? Contact him via the form below.

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